Approximately a year and a half ago, Technori was born from an idea and a registered URL. The idea was simple: to celebrate and inform the startup community. We wanted to give credit where it was deserved – first, to amazing entrepreneurs through in-depth profiles; then, to startups that were launching cool products and beyond.
Even though the Technori team works incredibly hard every single day, we recognize that we’re fueled by all the people who have supported us, volunteered, pitched on stage, and offered up their heartwarming stories for us to tell. In late August, we threw a party in their honor at our first Technori Family Reunion – because to us, we’re a family!
So what’s a reunion without some gossip, right? Here are some of the latest happenings from the cohort…
It’s only fitting that we first mention a couple of our best bros (or “brohs!”), Mark Lawrence and Jeremy Smith. The company is getting much deserved props for their company SpotHero, which launched at the very first Technori Pitch in September 2011. They have also been regulars at our weekly happy hours since day one. Now a member of the current Excelerate Labs class, SpotHero has expanded its team, launched an iPhone app, and became a portfolio company at 500 Startups. All in one year. Kudos, guys!
Another company from the inaugural Pitch group, PrettyQuick has pivoted three times since September of last year in order to find the best way to make it easier for you to take care of yourself. PrettyQuick is now a real-time marketplace where salons and spas bid on users’ desired appointments in real time. Think: Uber for salons and spas. With just a few keystrokes, users request a service when and where they want it and receive up to six different bids that exactly match their needs. Founder Coco Meers announced, “We started accepting bookings, so check us out for all your last-minute luxury needs!”
PrettyQuick aligned with fellow Technori alum, The Junto, to make the new iteration come to life. The team at Junto reports that “Junto is evolving into a suite of tools to help founders seek more genuine engagement with their customers…and encourage community amongst founding teams. We are officially launching in the fall.”
After undergoing a major pivot since their appearance on the Technori Pitch stage in February, Lovendar is positioned to launch an iPhone app and has been accepted to pitch at Venture Beat DEMO this fall. We were pleased to connect Founder Ellona Ferson to a few other Technori alums who have pitched at DEMO, Nihal Advani and Andrew Chen.
Nihal and his company Georama have done amazing stuff with Georama since their appearance at Pitch in January of this year. The company is the world’s first map-based travel platform, and the only one-stop solution for travelers.
Andrew Chen, a SPARK Chicago (remember that??) contender, launched and demoed tosigram at DEMO and Student AlphaPitch. He’s now a freshman at University of Florida.
Hireology closed a $1 million Series A investment from a group of investors that includes Chicago-based Firestarter Fund.
PhilterIt was named by Mashable as one of 5 hot start-ups to watch. Says Founder Avi Levine, “Technori Pitch was the launch pad for a ton of great press: Mashable, TechCrunch, TheNextWeb, PCWorld, etc., and drove our first wave of users.”
Lockboxer pivoted by adding Moveboxer to the mix. Moveboxer helps people to find a reputable mover, get storage, boxes, and home security for their new home. Once they get connected with these moving solutions, they can use Lockboxer to help them manage their stuff for the move. The company added two other tech co-founders, along with original founder Jennifer Morehead.
Weatherist will soon be blessing everyone as an armchair meteorologist this fall by adding coverage for every zip code in the country, launching iOS and Android apps, releasing a developer API, and further refining their Most Probable Forecast algorithm that is more accurate than ever.
Keep an eye out for OurLabel’s relaunch to focus exclusively on fan-driven promotion, complete with a website redesign. The crew is also working on their first white-label pilot that allows our partner to incentivize, track, and reward word-of-mouth promotion on social media.
Continuing to zealously do good, Zealous Good has grown non-profit members and donation volume by 300% since relaunching the website in February 2012.
BankBadger Founder Brian Busche shared, “Lots of great feedback after our Technori Pitch lead to a pivot for BankBadger. Now the service is targeting public and private schools. This move has proven to be a wise choice, with significant growth expected now that schools are back in session for the Fall.”
Dan Parsons and the Ora Interactive crew is happy to report consistent growth. “We’re proud to add Allstate to the client list, as well as cutting edge startups like Evzdrop.com (launching at Technori’s September Pitch!).”
The team at MobCart is still stoked about their decision to move back to Chicago from Silicon Valley. They’re working on a second company called Everpurse, which will be launching on Kickstarter soon! Says MobCart CoFounder Dan Salcedo, “Everpurse is a gorgeous fashion accessory that offers wireless smartphone charging on the go.”
And our best buds at ChicagoMicro were recently dubbed Microsoft’s Midwest Partner of the Year at the Microsoft Global Partner Conference in Toronto. The team is growing. You can check out their openings here.
Did we miss anything? Share more Technori Family news with us here.
As for the Technori leadership….
Designer Kevin Lucius continues incredible work for his company LuciusArt. He completed 2 more Fab sales – one in March and one in June, and he will likely do one more right before the holiday season. Also comfortable in analog, Kevin reports, “We had a pretty good summer festival season. The Do Division Fest in June was the highest-selling festival we’ve ever done.”
Melissa Joy Kong has joined the the Technori team full time as the Editor in Chief. If you’d like to write something for Technori, send her a tweet!
Robbie Abed’s personal blog is growing by the day. In the past week, he has received a free book, an iGrill & and an iShower because of the blog. He could not ask for anything more than that. His business of helping startups with development is going well, as is his role as the Technori CTO. But, he says he likes the free shit better.
Val Chulamorkodt got married earlier this summer and moved to the Bay Area. She’s looking forward to spreading some Technori goodness westward.
And finally, Seth Kravitz, staying true to his entrepreneurial roots, has launched two new companies: Bow Truss Coffee Roasters and Strange Pelican Brewery. He’s also been appointed to the Emerging Leaders Class of 2014 at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.